December 2002
Volume 43, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2002
Mechanisms that Underlie the Spatial Frequency Tuning of Ganglion Cells
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • AL Jacobs
    Department of Neurobiology UCLA Los Angeles CA
  • JR Sinclair
    Department of Neurobiology UCLA Los Angeles CA
  • S Nirenberg
    Department of Neurobiology UCLA Los Angeles CA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   A.L. Jacobs, None; J.R. Sinclair, None; S. Nirenberg, None. Grant Identification: Bank of America-Giannini Foundation (AJ); NIH Grant EY12978 (SN)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science December 2002, Vol.43, 3781. doi:
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      AL Jacobs, JR Sinclair, S Nirenberg; Mechanisms that Underlie the Spatial Frequency Tuning of Ganglion Cells . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):3781.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract: : Purpose: We have shown that a class of GABAergic amacrine cells that express neuropeptide Y (NPY/GABA cells) plays a role in shaping the spatial frequency tuning of mouse retina ganglion cells (see abstract, Nirenberg et al.) Here we examine the mechanism that underlies this tuning. Methods: The spatial frequency spectra of ganglion cells from retinas with and without NPY/GABA cells were fit to a difference-of-Gaussians model to determine the size, strength, and orientation of receptive field center and surround components. Results: NPY/GABA amacrine cells were found to play a role in shaping the size of ganglion cell receptive field surrounds. Loss of the amacrine cells caused a marked reduction in the average surround size (p<0.03, t-test), with center size controlled. The most striking result was a loss of large-diameter receptive field surrounds (order of 10x center size) in the amacrine depleted retinas (p<0.01, Χ2). Other receptive field parameters, such as degree of asymmetry, were not affected by ablation. We developed a possible computational model of the NPY/GABA cells' role in retinal circuitry to account for their apparent role in determining receptive field surround size. Conclusion: At a given retinal eccentricity (here, central retina) ganglion cells with a wide range of different spatial frequency tunings are found. We find that this variation is due in part to diverse ganglion cell surround sizes. Here we have identified a possible role for a specific amacrine cell class, the NPY/GABA cells, in determining surround size.

Keywords: 312 amacrine cells • 559 retinal connections, networks, circuitry • 540 receptive fields 

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